1698] DIARY OF PATRICK GORDON. 191   an account of them taken. The next thing was to send an officer to Moscow

1698] DIARY OF PATRICK GORDON. 191 an account of them taken. The next thing was to send an officer to Moscow



Passages from the diary of General Patrick Gordon of Auchleuchries : A.D. 1635-A.D. 1699"


an account of them taken. The next thing was to send an officer to Moscow with an account of
the business. The whole afternoon we were occupied collecting the arms scattered about on the
camp and fields.

'Information having been got as to a few of the ringleaders, from some who thought to gain June 19.
favour for themselves, several influential individuals were called up and examined. One of the
regiments was then mustered. The greater part of the influential men and others being ex-
amined, it was frankly confessed that some had been the ringleaders and guilty rebels. Those
that were found good we put on the one side, and the bad on the other. In the afternoon,
another regiment was proceeded with in the same way.

' We removed our •camp to beside the convent, to be out of the dust of the field where we were. June 20.

» We mustered another regiment of the Strelitzes, and examined various individuals, putting June 21.
them to the torture; whereon they confessed the wicked designs they had meant to carry out
when they got to Moscow. Word was despatched to Moscow twice or thrice of all that was
going on.

' Twenty-four individuals were found guilty, on their own confession, of the most shocking June 22.
crimes, and of having designed, when they got to Moscow, to massacre certain Boyars, and to
extort an increase of pay, and a new regulation of their services. On these we pronounced
sentence of death, to consist in beheading. They were confined apart, and directed to confess,
receive the eucharist, and prepare for death.

'Those condemned yesterday were beheaded. The fourth regiment was mustered in the June 23.
same way.

' I wrote to his Majesty, giving a short account of the previous events. June 21.

' On this and following days, we were engaged from morning to night in hearing cases ; many June 25.
were put to the torture, of whom a few confessed.

' An order arrived to send the less guilty Ftrelitzes to the various convents, and there keep June 27.
them closely imprisoned.

' Some Strelitzes that had confessed themselves guilty were hanged. June 28.

' His Majesty's birthday was celebrated, first by divine service, and then by a feast, at which .Fune 2;i.
his health was drunk, with discharge of cannon. A great many Strelitzes were sent under
strong guard to various convents.

'Many rebels of the regiment of Colonel Hundertmark were interrogated and put to the tor- June .30.
ture ; but none would confess himself guiltier than the others. They were therefore informed
that they must cast lots, as the tenth man must die, which they did. About two hundred
persons were knouted in the afternoon.

' Forty-five men of Hundertmark's regiment, on whom the lot had fallen, were brought out. July 1.
They were told that if they would only name the ringleaders of the rising, the rest should go
free. After a pause, they began to mutter and to name one or two, who, being tortured, with-
out much ado pled guilty ; three or four more were then named, who were also tortured, and
confessed after a few strokes. They were then set apart and bid prepare for death ; and the
others, on whom the lot had fallen, were set free.

Gordon was brought up and remained a lifelong Roman Catholic, at a time when the Church was being persecuted in Scotland. At age of fifteen, he entered the Jesuit college at Braunsberg, East Prussia, then part of Poland. In 1661, after many years experiences as a soldier of fortune, he joined the Russian army under Tsar Aleksei I, and in 1665 was sent on a special mission to England. After his return, he distinguished himself in several wars against the Turks and Tatars in southern Russia. In recognition of his service he was promoted to major-general in 1678, was appointed to the high command at Kiev in 1679, and in 1683 was made lieutenant-general. In 1687 and 1689 he took part in expeditions against the Tatars in the Crimea, being made a full general. Later in 1689, a revolution broke out in Moscow, and with the troops under his command, Gordon virtually decided events in favor of Peter the Great against the Regent, Tsarevna Sophia Alekseyevna. Consequently, he was for the remainder of his life in high favor with the Tsar, who confided to him the command of his capital during his absence from Russia. In 1696, Gordon's design of a "moveable rampart" played a key role in helping the Russians take Azov. One of Gordon's convinced the Tsars to establish the first Roman Catholic church and school in Muscovy, of which he remained the main benefactor and headed the Catholic community in Russia until his death. For his services his second son James, brigadier of the Russian army, was created Count of the Holy Roman Empire in 1701. At the end of his life the Tsar, who had visited Gordon frequently during his illness, was with him when he died, and with his own hands closed his eyes. General Gordon left behind him a uniquely detailed diary of his life and times, written in English. This is preserved in manuscript in the Russian State Military Archive in Moscow. Passages from the Diary of General Patrick Gordon of Auchleuchries (1635–1699) was printed, under the editorship of Joseph Robertson, for the Spalding Club, at Aberdeen, Scotland, 1859.



1635 - 1699


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